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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice': The World is Too Much with Them
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:49PM / Thursday, March 31, 2016

Remember when you were little and the kids on the block would argue who was greater, Batman or Superman? The ragamuffins on Dewey Street were evenly divided, pretty much the way they were between the Yankees and the Dodgers. Frankly, it was a no-brainer to me. The Yanks had The Mick, and, while Batman had all sorts of gadgetry, Superman had super powers. I know, I know, there's that Achilles heel thing, the accursed Kryptonite.

Still, Superman was my man. Besides, he and Batman would never fight. They were both good. So I didn't lose any sleep over it, and instead focused my contemplations on why in heaven someone would be a Dodger fan. I mean, they were "The Bums,"


Pittsfield Health Officials Hitting Snags With Tobacco Permit Cap
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
11:00PM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was on Dec. 10 when an armed robber stole money from Zuke's Variety.   Owner Elizabeth Zucco was worried about filing all of the reports, working with authorities to find the criminal, and provide the necessary accounting. She runs a restaurant in the city as well. She's a mother and was worried about Christmas. She had to get her tax documents in order.  With all that going on, she didn't file her renewal application for her tobacco license.   "Everything was coming in at once," Zucco said.   The problem, though, is that she also was late in renewing last year, and the Health Department suspended her license for 30


Inauguration 2016
by Soapbox 02:00PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Kids 4 Harmony Provided The Music At The Inauguration Reception
by Soapbox 08:38PM / Monday, January 06, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Berkshire Taconic Grant Deadlines Approaching
12:27PM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016

SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Deadlines are approaching for Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's second round of  competitive grants in 2016.

Covering the period from April through June, the spring cycle of deadlines is open to regional nonprofits, students, schools and community members.

For nonprofits, the Wassermann-Streit Y’diyah Memorial Fund supports projects and programs that encourage people to learn about Judaism with an aim to dispel religious prejudice, bias and intolerance. Grants of $500 will be awarded. Applications are due April 1.

Also for nonprofits, The Fund for Williamstown’s DeMayo Bright Futures Innovation Award recognizes organizations,


Pittsfield Firefighters Quickly Knock Down Fires in Two Apartments
Staff Reports,
12:21PM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — City firefighters were busy Wednesday morning with two fires.

Crews were called to Worthington Street for a structure fire. While there, another call came in about a fire on Fenn Street.

Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Noyes said the call came in shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday about a fire at three-family building on Worthingston Street. Upon arrival, smoke could be seen coming out of a second floor window, and crews found a small fire in a bedroom of the second-floor apartment.

Noyes said they were able to get the fire under control within about 10 minutes.

"We're just waiting for the investigators," he said.

The Red Cross has been called to assist the


Which IRA Is Better for Younger Workers?
Submitted by Edward Jones,
11:43AM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016

If you’re at the beginning of your career, you might not be thinking too much about the end of it. But even younger workers should be aware of – and saving for – their eventual retirement.

And since you’ve got many years until you do retire, you’ve got a lot of options to consider – one of which is whether an IRA may be appropriate for you and, if so, what type.

Essentially, you can choose between a “traditional” IRA and a Roth IRA. (Other types of IRAs are available if you’re self-employed.)

With a traditional IRA, you contribute “pretax” dollars, so your contributions are generally tax-deductible, depending on your


Lanesborough Selectmen Ask Board of Health to Limit Backyard Fowl
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:01AM / Wednesday, March 30, 2016
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — After town meeting tabled a vote to implement new regulations on backyard fowl, the Board of Selectmen are asking the Board of Health to adopt such a measure.   The Selectmen approved on Monday sending two new regulations to the Board of Health, which will not need town meeting approval. The first would limit the number of animals on a property less than one acre and the other would call for owners of fowl to register with Town Hall.   "The main focus of it is, people who are on lots of less than one acre," Town Manager Paul Sieloff said.    The Board of Health only needs a public hearing and a vote to approve the new policies. If


Pittsfield Board Forcing Sale of Former Debbie Wong's Liquor License
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:02PM / Tuesday, March 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is giving the owner of the former Debbie Wong building until the end of June to sell the unused liquor license.    John Herbert owns the building on Dalton Avenue, which the restaurant vacated in 2012. He's been trying to find a new tenant, sell the building, or even sell the liquor license separately. But to no avail.   "I don't know how much more I could do at this point," Herbert told the Licensing Board on Monday.   Herbert said he has a contract with Greylock Realty to sell either the building or the license but he said there has been no interest.   "I have nothing new to say. It is in the hands of the


Children's League Honors Farley-Bouvier as Legislator of the Year
Staff Reports,
09:59AM / Tuesday, March 29, 2016
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier is the Legislator of the Year in the eyes of the Children's League of Massachusetts.   The Pittsfield Democrat was given the honor alongside state Sen. Bruce Tarr last Tuesday. The Children's League is a non-profit consisting of more than 80 organizations advocating for policies for the state's children, youth and families.    "Both Sen. Tarr and Rep. Farley-Bouvier's commitment to protecting the well-being of our children is unmatched," Erin G. Bradley, executive director of the Children's League said in a prepared statement.     "The most vulnerable children of our


Berkshire Tidbits: Butcher's Workshop & Wellness Eating
By Judith Lerner, Special to iBerkshires
03:04PM / Monday, March 28, 2016

Christian and Donna Hanson, winemakers and owners of Balderdash Cellars, a Pittsfield winery.
  Every Saturday afternoon between noon and 4, Spirited Wines, 444 Pittsfield Road/Route 7at the beginning of Holmes Road in Lenox, 413-448-2274, hosts a free wine and sometimes cheeses and other wine-friendly food tasting.   This week, Saturday, April 2, all the tastings are of local wines, beers, spirits and cheese. The producers will be Balderdash Cellars, a Pittsfield husband and wife winery; Graham Farmhouse Wines, another husband and wife winery, this one in West Stockbridge; Berkshire Mountain Distillers (spirits) and Big Elm Brewing (beer) both of Sheffield;


United Way Installing 50 Bookhouses Across County to Improve Literacy
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:52PM / Monday, March 28, 2016

Kristine Hazzard said this year the United Way is "going bigger and we're going better." PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Half the county's third-graders are not proficient at reading.   The Berkshire United Way is continuing its efforts to change that percentage.   For the last five or so years, the organization has run a number of programs and projects aimed to bring that percentage close to 90 percent proficient by 2020 and this year the efforts are ramping up even more.    "This year, because that is how we are, we are going bigger and we're going better," CEO Kristine Hazzard said on Monday when the organization announced details on


Greylock Federal Credit Union Reports Solid 2015
01:14PM / Monday, March 28, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union reported solid performance in 2015.

In its 80th year of operation, Greylock posted net income of $3.25 million and total assets of about $1.1 billion. The credit union’s regulatory net worth – a key measure of financial strength – ended the year at 9.7 percent, up from 9.4 percent in 2014, improving upon Greylock’s “well-capitalized” rating as determined by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

As part of its annual meeting proceedings on March 22, Greylock Federal Credit Union’s Board of Directors elected the following slate of officers: Gerard E. Burke, Chairman of the Board;


Pittsfield Honors Vietnam Veterans at Annual Ceremony
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:31PM / Saturday, March 26, 2016

Michael Walsh, the keynote speaker, a former Navy SEAL, says 'healing takes time.'

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Of the 58,000 Americans who died during the decadelong Vietnam War, 27 hailed from Berkshire County.

Local veterans groups on Saturday honored those 27 and all who went overseas during that conflict. The local chapters of the Vietnam Veterans of America, American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars held the hourlong event in Park Square, where the city's Vietnam War memorial has stood for the last 30 years.   "Until the end of time, we will honor the 58,000 patriots who sacrificed all they had and all they would ever know," Mayor Linda Tyer

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